At this moment in history, how can American Christians, themselves deeply divided over scripture, doctrine, sexuality, abortion, and other culture war accoutrements, foster a common compulsion to speak out against white supremacist fiction before it gains an even stronger implicit or explicit influence?
When I think how we Christians have contributed to our own current dilemma, that’s when my prayers turn from frightened to fervent, invoking Divine assistance in “meeting Jesus again, for the first time,” to paraphrase the late Marcus Borg.
To parody low income, impoverished people politically, ecclesiastically, theologically or pragmatically is to undermine or downright ignore the almost relentless concern offered them by the purported Good News of Christ’s gospel, especially at the season of Advent.
This Advent, the Jesus Story has been sordidly deployed in defense of a political candidate beset by shameful accusations and ineffectual self-righteousness.
Firearm obsession exemplifies our national identity, and we should all own that reality. Indeed, firearm violence has become so routine that barring an immediate political or spiritual Great Awakening, these events demand some form of national triage responding to the consequences of weaponized carnage.
After addressing Reformation history in sermons, print and lectures every October of my life for the last 46 years, here are a few things I’ve learned from Luther’s 95 theses.
Is this “a Bonhoeffer moment” in American political, cultural and spiritual life? A lot of people, across the theological spectrum, seem to think as much, or at least find the question worth pursuing.
Might churches claim and enact a kind of gospel triage, responding with immediacy and intentionality to the external/internal struggles of persons impacted by gun violence?
Many elements of Lost Cause religion were rooted in distorted biblical hermeneutics, interpretative methods that gave proof texts for anti-Semitism, chattel slavery, Jim Crow separatism and white privilege.
Perhaps the signers are really mourning the loss of a post-Constantinian culture in a society where Protestant privilege wanes and churches must give witness to Christ’s gospel, not depending on principalities and powers to assist them.
The Baptist orthodoxy wars taught me this: When ideologues decide you are a heretic, they’ll raise the doctrinal ante until they prove it — if not to you, at least to themselves.
It was a killing field, and accounts of those brutal murders make for heart-rending but necessary reading.
What if health care legislation becomes so draconian and human need so great that churches have to initiate or expand community clinics, not because Obamacare is repealed, but because Jesus requires it?
Substance abuse is a complex issue because pain is multilayered, taking on parallel and distinct configurations in every human being. Can persons enmeshed in pain and Percocet feel safe enough in our congregations to seek physical, mental and, yes, spiritual assistance?